A scenic loop with some urban hiking! You’ll never be far from the industrial sounds of the City of Trail, but this loop ascends to wide views of the Columbia River Valley along the bluffs.
Distance, round trip: 9.95km
Season: early April to early November
Trailhead & Driving Directions
Drive to Gryo Park in Trail and park in the main lot. Since this is a loop, you can hike in either direction, but the description below is for hiking clockwise. There is no map of the trail at Gyro Park, but this route follows a mountain biking network maintained by the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society. You can view a map of the area on Trail Forks.
Columbia River to Sunningdale
From Gyro Park, follow the signs for the Trans Canada Trail, walking along the sidewalk in the upstream direction of the Columbia River. You’ll pass Gyro Park Beach and then soon be walking into the suburb of Sunningdale. The sidewalk will end and you’ll continue walking along Hazelwood Drive, spotting the occasional Trans Canada Trail sign.
Hazelwood Drive will curve to the right away from the river and the sidewalk will appear again. Watch for the signed “Sunningdale” trail appearing on the left and heading into the forest. Take it. It will dip down to cross Sandpit Road and then begin to ascend through the forest.
Watch for downhill traffic while hiking on this trail – those bikes go fast!
Up to the Bluffs
The trail ascends through the forest on a series of switchbacks, and then comes out on a long ridge leading up to the bluffs. The forest will fall away, and you’ll be able to look ahead to see a distant flagpole on top of the bluffs.
The trail will lead back above the suburb of Sunningdale, so you can look down on where you were walking earlier. As you near the Flagpole, you’ll reach a series of junctions. Stay right to keep to the edge of the bluffs.
Reach the Flagpole and the highest point of the loop after hiking about 5km. There is no bench here, but enjoy the panorama below! On a clear day, you’ll see the peaks from the Seven Summits Range to the West.
Along the top of the bluffs
Continue along the trail. It will start to gradually descend through patches of forest, leaving the views behind.
You’ll soon reach more junctions, stay right again and consult Trail Forks if you’re not sure about a turn – these junctions are unsigned and can be confusing along the twisting trails.
Miral Heights & Raven’s Rock
At last, reach a signed junction with Raven’s Rock on the left and Miral Heights to the right. The Miral Heights trail here will lead you to a scenic lookout over the hospital, with a bench! It’s worth the quick detour.
Return to the junction and take Raven’s Rock to descend into town. The ravens were making a riot as we hiked through this area- quorking and squawking in the trees!
Arrive back in Trail near the hospital, and take Goepel St down to Second Avenue to head back to Gyro Park.
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